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Sion Yaxley: ‘Sparring Amir Khan was an amazing experience’

Sion Yaxley
Paul Wheeler talks to Sion Yaxley, a man who has mixed in good company

When and why you started boxing:
I was 13 years old when I first started boxing. I’d always enjoyed watching the sport. My friends and I wanted to give it a go, thinking that it’d make us ‘hard’! But they all bottled it and I ended up going to the gym on my own. The rest is history!

Favourite all-time fighter:
It’s got to be my fellow Welshman, Joe Calzaghe.

Best fight you’ve seen:
That’s a difficult one. I’d say that my two favourite fights to watch are Marco Antonio Barrera vs Erik Morales I and Diego Corrales vs Jose Luis Castillo I.

Personal career highlight:
Representing my country on numerous occasions as an amateur – I’m a proud Welshman, as you can tell!

Toughest opponent:
Abass Baraou in the amateurs [l ud 3 – April 2017]. I fought him a couple of months before he won gold at the European Championships. I learnt a lot from that fight.

Best and worst attributes as a boxer:
I consider my strength and power to be among my best attributes, although my record doesn’t highlight this. My defence is one of my weaker points.

Training tip:
Train as hard as possible and be dedicated and committed.

Favourite meal/restaurant:
I’m partial to a kebab but I also like a Nando’s!

Best friends in boxing:
Over the years I’ve gained so many friends through boxing – too numerous to mention anyone in particular. They all know who they are.

Other sportsperson you would like to be:
I’d be Duncan Ferguson as I’m a huge Evertonian! He has all the passion and he’s known for being tough.

Last film/TV show you saw:
The last thing I watched was The Inbetweeners series. It’s a hell of a show!

Who would play you in a film of your life:
As he’s from my hometown of Ruthin, it’d have to be the one and only Rhys Ifans.

Have you ever been starstruck:
I wasn’t necessarily starstruck, but it was an amazing experience when I sparred with Amir Khan.

Last time you cried:
I remember crying a few times when I lost in the amateurs.

Best advice received:
‘Train hard, fight easy.’ It’s an old cliché that you hear in every gym, but it’s so true.

Worst rumour about yourself:
There’s nothing I could mention that’d be appropriate to put in print!

Something not many people know about you:
Something that not a lot of people know about me is that Welsh is my mother tongue.

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